May 8 West Buttress Expedition – Meet the Team!

The longer days of spring draw climbers from around the world northward to the Alaska Range. Towering above the multitude of rugged peaks that are themselves the stuff of history and dreams stands “The Great One,” Denali. At 20,310 feet, North America’s tallest mountain has beckoned adventurers and climbers for more than 100 years. Mountain Trip has been helping many of those climbers achieve their dreams for the past 47 years and we are stoked to kick off our 2022 season by welcoming the climbers of our May 8 West Buttress team!

The climbers made their way to Anchorage from across the U.S. and one climber is joining us from across the Atlantic. Here is the team!

  • Josie Tuthill joins us from Colorado, USA
  • Josh Gagner joins us from Georgia, USA
  • James Patridge hails from South Carolina, USA
  • David Rychly joins us from Georgia, USA
  • Chris Bonnstetter comes from Iowa, USA
  • Julian Howe flew across the pond from Wales in the UK

Our guides for the expedition are Dodge Garfield, Matthew Koenig, Maddie Crowell and Patrick Lane.

In the vein of life happens even if you are planning on embarking on a grand adventure, one of our guides came down with a bug upon arrival into Anchorage last week. Several tests showed it was not Covid-19 (all of our guides are vaccinated and boosted), but a local physician administered medication and recommended one additional day of recovery. We made the decision to hold the team in Anchorage for one more night, so rather than fly to Base Camp tomorrow, our crew will drive north to Talkeetna and fly to the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier on Tuesday.

We encourage you to follow along as the team makes their way up glaciers and ridges in the coming weeks. The team will try to phone in each night, allowing you to experience their progress in the words of your friends and family. Like any technology, satellite phones work intermittently in the extreme norther latitude of Denali, so if they don’t call in at some point, we ask that you please embrace the adage that “No news is good news!” Sometimes they just can’t get a signal due to a ridge blocking the satellite connection.

– The Mountain Trip Team

west buttress route photo

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  1. Good luck to all the team!
    We are looking forward to hearing all the adventures over the next three weeks!

    • Hello Howe Family! David’s two daughters (ages 15 and 13) got a kick out of hearing Julian’s accent on the phone. Julian and Dave seemed to enjoy getting to know each other in Anchorage!

  2. Helen & Allen Partridge are looking forward to our son’s
    Great adventure. We pray for a safe & successful climb/ summit for James & the team.

  3. Thinking of you Josie! What an amazing experience & opportunity! Praying that you & your team will all be safe! Love you!
    Aunt Tracy

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